The presence of awakening

Enlightenment does not have to come like a bolt of lightning.

Some people are born enlightened (Jesus comes to mind). Others of us have these ongoing momentous occasions where we are suddenly awakened into a higher consciousness of life and our illusionary personality falls away. Fellow blogger Kathy Drue writes about this in her blog, Simply Here. Warning: if you don’t “get” anything she writes about, then you are nowhere near ready to drop the illusion that you are your personality, your job, your clothes, your body, your thoughts, your words, or anything else you might be attached to, and that’s okay. Come back later.

Meanwhile, there are those of us (===>pointing at self) whose enlightenment and awakening are coming along at about the pace of a two-year-old learning quantum physics. The idea that most people are not conscious and definitely NOT concerned about my personal well-being has taken over half a century to light up in my feeble brain. The truth is we are all self-absorbed. Once I accepted that I am not special, that I am totally self-absorbed, then AND ONLY THEN, could I look at my self-absorption and decide how to deal with it. I can choose to remain self-absorbed. A good deal of my time and effort remain devoted to self-absorption. I don’t go to work, earn money, buy food, and live in my illusory secure environment for anyone’s sake except mine. (Okay . . . a little bit for you, too. If I do it, then I don’t become a burden on society so self-absorption is also a part of self-responsibility.)

But the awakened part of me can let go my self-absorption for moments at a time to care for other human beings. Although I am not sure there can possibly be a total altruistic act, when I am sitting with another person in need, my heart talk is not about what I can get out of the situation. I am scurrying around within and reaching for that cosmic connection to bring something to the table for that other person to take in and bring home. Later, my ego personality will surface and get all puffed up about it, feel pleased, and say “didn’t we do great?” And, I will gently remind myself, “this time.” Next time, we might not do so well. Next time, we might not get what we want.

Here’s a scary part about awakening: I no longer really care if I get what I think I want. Even if I get it, whatever I have received is as transitory as my next breath.

Except waking up.

Once you are awakened, there is no more sleeping.

©2013 by Barbara L. Kass


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10 Responses to “The presence of awakening”

  1. jeffstroud Says:

    I so know what you mean Barbara, I think awakening is an on going experience, it is not a one time event it is a practice, an evolution of body, mind, and soul.
    And yes we do or are self-absorbed, to a degree, we have to take care of ourselves before we can take care of others, even while both are going at the same time. There is a taking care of self while taking care of another, offering either what you have been offered, or what you wish you had been offered, and found for yourself.

  2. Barbara Kass Says:

    Hi, Jeff – I come from a Catholic upbringing where I was supposed to emulate Jesus on the cross and sacrifice myself for others. I kept wondering why no one was sacrificing themselves for me. It was tough to save others from themselves. too, especially at the age of 7 and 8 when no one took me seriously. It took me a long time to sort all that out and just now I am getting to that balance of caring of self and other that you speak about.

    • jeffstroud Says:

      Yes Barbara I came from the same background, and followed that path more from a place of spirituality even though I didn’t know it at the time.
      It is a shame that we get the message of self sacrifice rather than the message of Love, Jesus, the Christ was seeking to convey. He had to be fully present to his own being first before he could offer himself to his followers or to his God. And we are usually missing that part!
      That awakening came to me once again through recovery, than later still in recovery through Conversations with God Book 1 ! I had read and did much research up until than but this book, was like meeting Spirit truly for the first time.

      • Barbara Kass Says:

        I know — I am just now listening to the New Gospel with different ears with my own interpretation of what Jesus meant with his word and parables. I haven’t yet read the Conversations with God book (it is on my list!).

  3. Kathy Says:

    I consider it sinful to deny ourselves. The concept of self-absorption is a gift you give yourself that others can share in the good examples we set up for our own living. When you gain, we gain and that may work both ways. When I am being secure it is easy to either mirror or transfer that security to another that may have it but it got stuck in some shadow. Your writing illuminates me. I would love to have that gift to share some day after I remove my writer’s block. You help us look back to our own experience for the truth our own lives. I have recently (this week) learned that the word self-determinism is the same as our “I Am”, and now I see that taking responsibility for those things we need and balancing our enlightened parts to put in a better future is key. Thanks for your blog. May you always flourish and prosper.

    • Barbara Kass Says:

      Hi, Kathy — what writer’s block? You’ve said with fluid eloquence how being fully oneself is the greatest gift we can give to ourselves and others. I would love to read more about your thoughts on self-determinism and its role in our future. Namaste.

  4. Laurie Buchanan Says:

    Barbara – This sentence you shared oh-so-resonated with me:

    “… I am scurrying around within and reaching for that cosmic connection to bring something to the table for that other person to take in and bring home.”

    It happened just yesterday with a call from a teenager who is beyond fed up with life’s journey thus far. I’ve spoken with her again today. But like you said:

    “Next time, we might not do so well. Next time, we might not get what we want.”

  5. Kathy Says:

    Smiling at your reference to a two year old getting quantum physics. Some days it feels like that, doesn’t it? And how self-absorbed we humans are as humans! Even when we’re trying to do good there’s usually a seed beneath that intention that points back to getting something for the “sense of self”. You also talk about Ego jumping in to get puffed up. It can be almost funny if you look at it from a wide lens. Quite often I just watch the larger Universe operating through this one, maybe just writing a blog. But the Ego leaps back in shouting “I wrote it! I wrote it!” Ohmygosh, why do we need that? But I guess we do, until we don’t.

    What a really lovely blog post. Thanks, Barbara. And thanks for the reference to my little blog.

    • Barbara Kass Says:

      well, you set me to thinking about my slow evolution to enlightenment and helped me come to the realization that I have always been awake; I just covered it up and pretended to be asleep mostly to survive my childhood. Keep on writing — something bigger than both of us wants us to.

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